September 15, 2020

Lawmakers share latest on COVID-19 negotiations, highlight CU role in relief efforts

senateAs lawmakers continue to discuss coronavirus-related relief efforts, NAFCU Caucus attendees Monday got an inside look at what's happening on Capitol Hill from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. While addressing attendees, all three senators noted the important work credit unions have done in serving members and aiding their communities.

Senate Minority Leader Schumer

During his remarks, Schumer noted that the federal government needs to provide additional robust coronavirus relief, highlighting that credit unions were "essential to getting money in the hands of those who need it most."

On the paycheck protection program, Schumer acknowledged that credit unions helped implement the program, saving small businesses and reaching those who were overlooked.

Looking toward additional relief, Schumer indicated that he is dedicated to providing additional help for small businesses, stating "credit unions are the glue of our communities."

Ahead of last week's vote on a revised "skinny" version of a relief package, NAFCU wrote to Schumer, as well as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to reiterate the association's request for additional credit union priorities.

Senate Banking Leadership

Sens. Crapo and Brown both addressed future relief efforts and the committee's role in recovery efforts.

Brown indicated that he will continue to fight for more funding for community development financial institutions (CDFI) and new efforts to help Americans who "have been left behind" in the financial system.

Crapo highlighted that he has encouraged the NCUA to extend troubled debt restructuring relief to 2022 and push the implementation date for the current expected credit loss (CECL) to 2023. Crapo also noted that he will continue to provide support for the Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act, which aims to provide a simplified automatic forgiveness process for covered PPP loans.

On regulatory relief efforts, Crapo shared that he has encouraged the Treasury Department and federal financial regulators to provide necessary regulatory flexibility and support to financial institutions. He also noted his appreciation of the good faith efforts credit unions have made to lend to their communities.

NAFCU works closely with Sens. Crapo and Brown to ensure they are aware of credit unions' positions on issues addressed by the Senate Banking Committee. The association kicked off 2020 on Capitol Hill, meeting with both senators, to share priorities for the year and legislative solutions that allow the credit union industry to thrive.

The association will continue to advocate for credit union relief priorities amid the pandemic and work with lawmakers. See what issues the association is currently working to obtain.